On July 1, new legislation took effect in Florida that adds several requirements to the Florida Condominium Act and Florida Statutes Chapter 718. The 21 reforms affect how condo associations deal with violations such as electoral fraud, theft of funds, and conflicts of interests. FRONTSTEPS makes it easy for your community comply with the new rules. Here's how.
The bill was born from a series of scandals that plagued Florida, a state that boasts some 1.6 million condos. The accusations ranged from outright voter fraud to financial mismanagement and other irregularities. Fed up homeowners went to police who say the allegations should be handled in civil court. Prosecutors said the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) should deal with the issues but DBPR deflected responsibility and said the violations aren't under their jurisdiction. Finally, the 5th estate took up the matter.
El Nuevo Herald and Univision 23 published a series called, Condo Nightmares, Which was followed by a Miami-Dade State Attorney's report that corroborated the investigation. A year later, the bill, sponsored by Rep. Jos̩ F̩lix Diaz and Senators Jos̩ Javier Rodriguez and Ren̩ Garc was unanimously approved by the state House and Senate.
It's no joke, either. Violations may result in prison terms. Here are some of the changes and how FRONTSTEPS software addresses them:
- Condo associations with 150 or more units now must publish financial reports on a password protected website. FRONTSTEPS software is secured by SSL. Double check to make sure your community is running under SSL, if it's not, we have the ability to help you create a secure website experience for your community so you can be compliant with the new law.
- If owners request documents and are denied in order to hide fraud, those responsible could face felony charges. (This will take effect in July 2018). FRONTSTEPS has a document repository where you can store documents so your residents and community members can access them anytime.
- HOA board directors can only serve eight years. They can remain in office if they win a super-majority of the votes from owners. FRONTSTEPS Voting Booth function makes it easy to track election results, and maintain complete election transparency.
And while most condo association leaders and volunteers are above board and scrupulous, stories like the ones out of Florida remind us that technology, like FRONTSTEPS software, can improve relationships such that investigations and nasty correspondence are a thing of the past. It's community reimagined.
Searching for new community management software? Download our free checklist to help you find a solution that's the right fit for your communities.